Quitting a “Best Friend” // 戒掉我“最好的朋友”
Andrew didn’t feel too connected to God, even after he accepted Christ until one day when quitting his “best friend” – cigarettes – turned his world upside down and God answered his cry with His grace and mercy.
雖然Andrew接受了耶穌為救主， 但他一直覺得跟神沒有很親密的關係。直到有一天他戒掉他 ”最好的朋友“ － 香煙－ 他的世界一百八十度扭轉，而神就用恩典和憐憫回應了他的呼求。
I was born in Hong Kong, and I had a good life. I lived very comfortably. I had a great family. And I achieved decent grades at school. In the midst of all these worldly comforts, faith was never a big part of my life because I didn’t think I needed God. I had some exposure to Christianity during my high school years, but to me, the bible was just a storybook that taught you how to be a good person, and I thought, “I don’t need to be a Christian to do that!” God was the furthest thing from my mind and I thought I could do everything on my own.
I met my wife during my postgraduate studies. She was already a Christian, and while we were dating, she persuaded me to go to bible study at their family friend’s home with her. It was there that my journey with God really began. Eventually we took the Alpha course together at Island ECC, where she had started taking me to Sunday service. All through this time I felt God working in my life to provide me with all the answers to the questions I had. His messages were clear and moving, especially during worship. At Alpha, I heard powerful testimonies and I could see God making incredible changes in people around me. All He needed me to do was to believe in His promises. During one Alpha meeting, my group leader and my wife prayed for me and I accepted Christ in late 2011.
Church and the Alpha course told me that being a Christian is about having a relationship with God. However, I still didn’t feel a strong connection with Him until about 6 months after Alpha when I was going through a difficult period in my life and God prompted me to give up smoking during this time. I never quit before because I always thought I was the one in control. I thought I could do it any time I wanted to. It was not until I stopped that I realised how difficult it is and the extent of my dependence on them. I was a slave to cigarettes and my life revolved around the next cigarette to escape the stress. Now that I no longer smoked, I had to deal with the sources of my stress directly, and it took a toll on me physically, spiritually and emotionally. The unpredictable cravings and feelings of irritability and heightened anxiety disrupted my daily life as my body and mind screamed out for the drug that has been such a pervasive part of my life for over a decade. What I thought was my “best friend” had become an extremely powerful enemy, and I felt my world come crashing down around me. It was at this time, when I was at my weakest, that I cried out to God.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
By His grace and mercy, He provided the help and support I needed through my loving wife, family and friends, and put me on the path to recovery and healing. Being in a relationship with God, opening up to him, drawing him near, changed my life. I truly see the hand of God moving, guiding, and protecting me. No longer would I have this self-destructive habit as a crutch. From now on, He is my strength, my stronghold. When I put my faith in God, and raised my burdens to Him, He answered:
“Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.”
– Psalm 55:22
當研究生時，我認識了現在的太太。當時她已經是基督徒。我們約會期間，她說服我到她朋友家裡研讀聖經。從那時，我跟神的關係才真正開始。終於，我們一起在 Island ECC 參與啓發課程，那裡也是我們每一個星期天崇拜的地方。整段時間感受到神在我生命裡作工，解答了我對信仰的所有問題。祂對我說的訊息非常明確和感動，特別是在崇拜的時候。
Image credit: flickr.com/matthijs